If you’ve followed my women’s health blog for awhile, you know I much prefer "what to do" conversations vs "what not to do" 😀😜
I noticed that there are some popular foods that cause a lot of confusion amongst women and lead them into exact same traps they were trying to escape from in the first place! And I don’t blame them! The marketing for these products is very impressive and of course, its targeted to sell, not to heal, nor to fix period problems.
That’s why on my Instagram I called this post “Boot out these three foods for better hormones”.
So, let’s take a closer look and see why these foods may contribute to hormonal imbalance and actually result in more period problems instead of fixing them!
1. PLANT-BASED "MEATS"
Yes, plant-based PROTEIN is very good for your hormones through menstrual cycle! I confirm this as a Registered Nutritionist and Menstrual Health Coach. BUT (!), note this only refers to natural wholesome foods. Take for example peas. Peas is one of the best plant-based sources of protein.
On the other hand, protein extracted from peas in a commercial facility, mixed with other substances, artificial additives, colourings, controversial bulking agents and shelf-life stabilizing preservatives and packaged as “vegan meat” is far from being a healthy choice. In the past few years, I've seen quite horrifying ingredient lists with a very pretty "vegan" packaging, so be careful!
TIP: Always read ingredient list and labels! Choose the ones with lower saturated fats and sodium and higher in protein and fiber or even better so -> try to make your own bean burger or pea patties! Here is a RECIPE if you want to give it a go
2. PLANT-BASED "MILKS"
Many people find this very disappointing, but, unfortunately plant-based “milks” are not inherently "healthy" for hormones through menstrual cycle and don’t always help to fix period problems. If you are lactose intolerant, vegan or have allergies and sensitivities to milk, these can be great substitutes. But be careful (!); plant-based “milks” differ in terms of their quality, and while some are well-balanced drinks, others will offer you little more than "whitened water".
Remember, just because almonds have lots of protein, that doesn’t mean you will have lots of protein in your almond milk. In fact, chances are you will have almost none! Another common thing for popular non-dairy milks is very little natural calcium and lower levels of vitamin D fortification, both of which are important nutrients when you trying to address hormonal imbalance.
TIP: If you can drink animal milks, go for goat or sheep milk (whichever is available to you) for better hormonal health and smoother periods. If you need or prefer to drink plant-based alternatives, always check the labels to make sure you are not paying for flavoured water (and let me know if you need a hand with this!) Also, if you live in Canada, I created a handy cheatsheet that you can download below.
3. "VITAMIN WATER"
Vitamin Water is a product owned by The Coca-Cola Company. Not like I am biased, but "healthy" is not exactly what they known for. 😂 Secondly, if you look at the labels, many Vitamin Water flavours have more than 30 g of sugar per bottle. To give you an idea, 30 g of sugar is just above 7 full teaspoons of sugar! Yes, you will get some vitamins, but holy smokes, this is a lot of sugar for your body to handle at once. There are multiple studies that show sugary drinks like this one can worsen PMS symptoms, increase inflammation, and contribute to hormonal imbalance and period problems.
TIP: Choose water instead. If you like your drinks flavoured, add a slice of fresh lemon or any berries (fresh or frozen) you like! Your hormones will be so grateful 💕!
As always, love you all and til next!